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Messages - metron-brewer

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Yeast and Fermentation / Surly Wort Give Away, Help on my First Lacto
« on: June 30, 2015, 10:47:55 AM »
So I signed up for the Surly Wort give away at the AHA rally for July 2015. I think I may be in over my head with this one. I’ve never made any kind of sour before as the wife and I are not huge “sour” fans. I was hoping to get a little help here to determine how to proceed. I have absolutely no idea/experience with the process for this type of fermentation.

We both signed up for the giveaway so I’ll end up with (2) five gallon batches of wort, specifics below. I’d prefer to keep the process as simple as possible and the sourness at the low end.

I’d like some yeast recommendations as well as fermentation process recommendations, times, temps etc.

I’d like to know if bringing this type of wort into my brew house will cause any issues with my “regular” non-sour fermentation and equipment.

Should I dedicate the two fermenters to only sour beers after using them for this or can I still use for non-sours?

•   Pale Lacto-kettle soured wort
•   Brewed with Simpsons Golden Promise & aromatic malts
•   Minimal bitterness
•   Boiled & oxygenated for your experimental homebrew pleasure
•   Target OG: 13° P (~1.053 OG)
•   pH: 3.2

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 10:11:30 AM »
I had the same problem when using the pH56.  Try shaking it 2-3 times hard like your trying to shake off all liquid from the probe after the 7 and before the 4 calibration.  Worked for me.    No idea why.

In between solutions I rinse in distilled, wipe the outside of the meter with paper towel and give it a light shake and blow the excess water off. Next time I'll try giving it a good shake in between.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: June 30, 2015, 09:49:30 AM »
There can be mulitple reasons as why the pH meter is not holding its calibration. They include:
Coating on glass electrode: Any coating that forms on the electrode will change the value the meter displays when in the pH buffer. Typically, the change would affect all buffers, so a change that is observed in pH 4 would also be observed in pH 7. This type of change is known as an offset error.

Contaminated buffer:The calibration of a pH meter is as only as good as the buffer. If a pH buffer value changes then the value displayed will change. Typically a contaminated buffer will affect only one calibration point. This will change the slope of the electrode. This should not be a problem as long as the buffers are fresh (less than 6 months old) and changed frequently. For example place buffer in a small baby food jar for daily calibration and change out at least once/week.

After using a cleaning solution it is important to place the probe in storage solution for 2-3 hours before performing a calibration.

Rinse the probe with purified water (distilled, reverse osmosis, deionized) water when moving the probe from one solution to another. For example I have my probe in storage solution then I would rinse and then place in a calibration buffer. If performing a two point calibration then rinse between buffers. After calibration rinse. After taking a reading rinse before placing back in storage solution.

Always store the probe in a solution. It is important to maintain the hydrated layer on the glass and keep the junction hydrated as well. If you do not use storage solution then use pH4. If you do not have pH 4 then use pH 7. Storage solution has microbial inhibitors to keep stuff from growing on the glass. pH 4 is the next recommendation since bacteria do not grow well at lower pH's. For this reason pH 4 is recommended over pH 7. NEVER store in purified water.

pH probes do not last forever. They have a life of 1-2 years. If you have a pH meter with a mV mode the offset/slope can be checked. As long as the offset/slope is acceptable then the probe can be used indefinitely.

Thanks for your response. I've pretty much determined that either the electrode is going bad or I have a bad bottle of calibration fluid. The only item that I wasn't doing correctly per your post was using tap water instead of purified water to rinse with. I've since adjusted that part of my process and still have the issue during second point calibration. It seems to be working ok and it will calibrate so I'm going to continue using it as is. I'll be switching to new bottles of calibration fluid here soon, if it continues I think I can narrow it down to a failing electrode and I'll switch that out.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:21:59 PM »
Bet you all feel sorry for my cronies at this point! Ha.
Assuming they are barrel-aged?

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:07:53 AM »
We looked at electric hoists too, but I have 2 chest freezers in 2 different locations and the rope hoist is lightweight and easy to just clip on an eye bolt or the garage door rail.

My second freezer is strictly for fermentation of 5 gallon buckets. I plan on using the electric hoist for the kegerator but I may look at your setup for the fermentation freezer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:05:48 AM »
Would it be possible to put the freezer on its side or on its end?  I assume it would still work, but I don't know.

Pretty sure it's not recommended to run freezers in any orientation other than what they were designed for.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Modification
« on: June 08, 2015, 09:47:17 AM »
I just purchased this:

Although I have not installed or figured out HOW I'm going to install it yet. It seemed like a reasonable price and a good solution.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: May 13, 2015, 10:48:51 AM »
if the meter shows signs of erratic or slow stabilization, its usually a good time to use the very acidic cleaning solution on the probe (think its 2.0 or less). if you still have issues, could be probe needs replaced.

I do use the MA9016 Cleaning Solution after every brew day. According to the MSDS it's pH is ~1.7. I was thinking it may be the probe as well. I'll probably just let it go for a bit until it becomes a real PIA, then replace it. I have a spare on hand.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: May 13, 2015, 09:44:14 AM »
As I understand it, rinsing in distilled water is best instead of tap water.  Could the battery be getting low?

I have heard that I should be using distilled for rinsing, I'll change that part of my process. I looked into the battery aspect but according to the instructions it has a low battery indicator which I have not seen light up. Also according to the instructions: "The meter is also provided with BEPS (Battery Error Prevention System), which avoids any erroneous readings due to low battery level by automatically switching the meter off."

Equipment and Software / pH Meter Calibration
« on: May 13, 2015, 09:33:06 AM »
I use a Milwaukee pH-56 meter and use (2) point calibration (7 and 4), at the start of each brew day. I've noticed lately that on the second point I initially get a "Wrong" reading, but then it will calibrate. I'm wondering if maybe an issue with the meter, or my process or the calibration fluids? The meter itself has not always displayed this characteristic. It seems to have started over the last 3-4 months. The issue has continued to show up after I have opened a new bottle of calibration solution.

I rinse meter in plain tap water and gently blow off, then first reading. After it registers I again rinse in tap water and blow off, then into second solution. The meter is about 3 years old, and the tip itself was replaced just over one year ago. It is cleaned using cleaning solution after each brew day and stored in storage solution until the next brew day.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First Runnings Cocktail
« on: May 12, 2015, 05:35:58 PM »
"Hot Scotchies", we make ours with the last runnings from the tun and bourbon. Basically a shot of bourbon topped off with 3-4 ounces of warm wort. It's best served warm.

Ingredients / Re: Water adjustment approach?
« on: May 06, 2015, 07:19:26 PM »
I'm currently using house water and BrunWater. For really light beers I do use a combination of house and distilled water.

Sent From my Kindle using Tapatalk 2

Kegging and Bottling / Re: NSF Keg
« on: May 05, 2015, 06:00:57 PM »

What would a "bad day" welding a keg look like? Out of curiosity, does this mean you'll get leaks or something won't be sanitary?

Poor welds could cause leaks and or failure under pressure.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: NSF Keg
« on: May 05, 2015, 09:56:25 AM »
My opinion only: I think it's more of a "feel good" for those concerned. I'm not familiar with the NSF certification but assuming the NSF certification is for use as a pressure vessel rated to X pounds. The steel and welds would be tested as such, if it's a non automated welding process, there is the possibility the person welding could have a "bad day" producing one bad keg. NSF certification cannot prevent "operator error".

However the fact that the manufacturer went through the trouble of getting it certified which includes periodic inspections/sampling, does go a long way to put my mind at ease that they are producing and want to produce a quality product. In other words it's not just some schmuck welding tanks in his garage.  ;)

Worth a few extra bucks to me, but I would not worry about it either.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Law of partial pressures
« on: May 05, 2015, 09:25:32 AM »
I always looked at it as more of a volume thing. The keg is full of O2, by adding CO2 at some pressure above ambient forcing some CO2 into the keg. Then allowing the CO2 to settle and O2 to rise, purging the keg removes O2. Multiple purges removes more O2. Higher pressure with a sealed keg only allows more CO2 to enter, thus reducing the amount of purging steps required. I "purge" at lower pressures 10#-15#, then fill and seat the lids at 30# to seal it up and check for leaks. I'm definitely no scientist, just my process.

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